Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Matthew, Chapter2

One of the things that stands out about the book of Matthew is how the author links Jesus' life to the prophecies he was supposed to fulfill. In yesterday's chapter, we saw two instances of this. We saw that He was to come from the line of Abraham and David, so Matthew proved this by listing His genealogy. We also saw that He was to be born of a virgin, so Matthew lists this as well. We have seen that prophesy plays a major role throughout the Bible because of what we read in Isaiah. Many of those prophecies come true here in the book of Matthew

In chapter we see three more major prophesies fulfilled. We see that He would be born in Bethlehem, be called out of Egypt, and be called a Nazarene. In these prophesies we see a larger view of how Jesus' gift of salvation was meant for the whole world. Yes He was born a Jew, but a Gentile king in Herod influenced His early life. It was also the Gentile Magi that came and worshipped Him after His birth. When Joseph was forced to flee Israel it was Egypt, a nation that had long been an enemy of Israel, that provided a safe haven.

10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. – Matthew 2:10-12

The background of the Magi is quite diverse. In that day, they were astrologers and seekers of wisdom. They looked for signs in the heavens that would lead them to a greater understanding of the world. This is a representation of the Gentile view, as they were not Jewish. Upon finding Christ they knew that they had found something special, even though they were sent by Herod who was a very evil man. The magi represent those in the non-Jewish world that still seek the ultimate truth. In this story they see that Christ's salvation is meant for both Jew and Gentile alike, as they saw the majesty of God in the Christ child.

13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." – Matthew 2:13-15

The evil of Herod is shown here through the innocents that were forced to suffer under his rule. This was an established king, backed by the strongest power in the world at the time in Rome. Despite all this, Herod was so afraid of a mere child that he ordered the execution of every male child under the age of two. This is clearly a lust for power that could not be quenched. Herod probably didn't even believe in the prophesies of Christ, yet he still feared them so much He tried to make sure they did not come to pass. God, as usual had other plans. By sending Christ to Egypt He fulfilled another prophesy and made sure that His plans would come to pass.


  1. Why did Christ have such humble beginnings?
  2. Why would the Magi fear returning to Herod?
  3. Why did God choose Egypt as a place of refuge?

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